-- BBC is wondering whether the game industry is about to crash. An EA VP also says game piracy was instrumental in building the brand in Asia. For a historical perspective, check Wikipedia on the Crash of 1983.
-- According to the Gameasure (how do you pronounce it?) study by Interpret, the playing audience is vastly underestimated for ad purposes because of the unaccounted pass-along and play-along factor, writes Mediaweek. "Therefore, if advertisers want to truly get a handle on just how many folks will potentially see their ad in a game, media buyers may need to weigh how many gamers play a game per each copy sold--a measure along the lines of the magazine world’s readers-per-copy metric."
-- "Microsoft has made no bones about the fact that it is expecting a combination of ads and subscription revenues to fuel its company-wide "Live" software + services strategy. [...] Katherine Hays, a senior director with Microsoft's platform and services division — and the co-founder of Massive, told March 15 conference-call participants that her division currently has more than 200 active ad campaigns running across 53 game titles. She said Microsoft expects to have in-game advertisements in place in more than 100 game titles before the end of 2007." (ZDNet)
-- GameDaily interviews the CEO of Jogo Media, the newest entrant in the in-game advertising business who takes a swing at the more established competitors: "I look at the funding that IGA and Double Fusion have and I say, 'How are they using it?' Is it going into technologies or are they throwing out money to publishers to secure titles?" But nothing about the technology that, he says, is still in development.
-- Master New Media has a cheat sheet on a number of new virtual world offerings (via Metaversed). For more detailed reviews, go to Betsy Book's Virtual Worlds Review, though.
-- A Danish bank plans to offer services in Second Life, Reuters wrote last month: "Denmark’s Saxo Bank plans to offer Second Life residents the ability to manage their real-life financial portfolios from within the virtual world, and may eventually create a market to trade the Linden dollar against real-world currencies."
-- Lacoste is inviting (in Flash, so no permalink) Second Life avatars to try out for a fashion shoot (till May 4). Send in a pic of your avatar, tell how you dream about world peace, and you get a shot at L$1M to be shared among the winners.
-- Silicon.com asks whether 3D worlds could eventually replace call centers. Wouldn't be a bad idea, really, if you could build a large replica of, say, a computer and literally walk the customer through some upgrade. Speaking of which, Best Buy is opening a Geek Squad island in Second Life.
-- Griefers attack Scion island in Second Life, writes Info Week.